The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.
I was really excited to see the challenge this month, as this brings back sooo many memories for me of my Mom. She made these once from scratch as part of a school fundraising dinner, making hundreds, of which I had a few, and I immediately fell for these. As a yearly birthday gift, I got to choose the dinner on my special day, and I almost always chose these. Somehow, they didn't have the same specialness once Mrs. T's came around! :-)
She has passed now, and I have held on to the cookbook she used to make that very first batch, one that makes me smile every time I saw it.
This was my first time attempting these and the taste memory was still right there!
I chose to attempt the ones that Mom used to make and in the cookbook, there is a dough recipe and 8 filling recipes. I chose my favorite, potato filling. It calls for lightly caramelized onion in the filling, which is my favorite topping for pierogies, so it was totally win-win!
I found the dough easy to work with, even if I did have to use an extra teaspoon of water. I think my flour was dry. I used some thin skins potatoes and my recipe called for mashed potatoes, butter, onions and salt & pepper. I made the assumption it was "plain" mashed potatoes instead of prepared mashed potatoes. I made the mistake of using a beater on the cooked potatoes and ended up with glue! I added the butter and onions and it pulled together for the stuffing, but I wonldn't have served it plain.
After preparing them, I boiled them, then fried them in butter, just like Mom used to do and they were heavenly! I don't know if it was the fact that I have developed as a cook, or I made a much smaller batch, but it wasn't nearly as time consuming as I thought and I can really see these having a value as a skill to me. I can't wait to try more flavors! Love you, MOM :-)